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Operation Freedom Paws Founder Mary Cortani Selected as Nominee for National Jefferson Awards!
Operation Freedom Paws helps veterans and others with disabilities regain their independence by teaching them how to train their own service dog, and certifying them as a service dog team. Operation Freedom Paws was founded in 2010 after a former marine approached Mary seeking assistance in acquiring a service dog to help him overcome anxiety disorders caused by combat hyper-vigilance. The multi-year waiting lists for trained dogs from existing organizations were just one more source of frustration for that returning vet.
Mary knew that she could leverage her extensive dog-training experience to train that vet to train his own service dog. She also realized there are thousands of dogs waiting for loving homes and that many of them have the right temperament for service work. Those factors combined to form a strategy that would dramatically reduce the waiting time.
The approach turned out to do so much more: It gave the vet a sense of mission and purpose, and as the training proceeded, it provided a sense of accomplishment and renewed confidence as well. Thus was born the Operation Freedom Paws (OFP) program, and for Mary, the alignment of her skillset, her capacity as a gifted leader and her life purpose.
Because of that Marine, and Mary’s passion for helping our veterans and others in the community, Operation Freedom Paws has just enrolled its 210th client. Mary’s impact on her local community gave her the opportunity to be selected to compete at the National Jefferson Awards with over 80 representatives from across the county. Mary will attend the national ceremonies in Washington, D.C. in June, where five national honorees will be selected.
About Operation Freedom Paws
Operation Freedom Paws, a 501(c)3 Non-Profit, empowers veterans, adults and children with disabilities to live a quality life by teaching them to train their own dogs, and certifying them as service dog teams. The dogs, usually from rescue organizations or shelters, are carefully evaluated. Each is then matched to a specific client’s physical and psychological needs. There is no charge--all we ask is a commitment to complete the 48-week training program.
Operation Freedom Paws